• Season:
  • Category: Photojournalism
  • Description: Bogdančik (5 years old) disabled by spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) plays with his iPad while he is connected to the machine that allows him to breathe at his home in Rivne. In 1986, a meltdown at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant showered radioactive particles all over Ukraine and neighboring countries. As a result of the radioactivity received at the time of the explosion and in the following months, together with the contamination that persists in an area, children born after the Chernobyl accident show a very high incidence of malformations, diseases due to a weak immune system and different types of cancers. In Ukraine, 6,000 children are born every year with genetic heart defects and more than 3000 die from lack of medical attention. There has been a 200 percent increase in birth defects and a 250 percent increase in congenital birth deformities in children born in the Chernobyl fallout area since 1986. UNICEF found increases in children’s disease rates; there has been a 38 percent increase in malignant tumors, a 43 percent increase in blood circulatory illnesses and a 63 percent increase in bone, muscle, and connective tissue system disorders. There are 2,397,863 people registered with Ukraine’s health ministry to receive ongoing Chernobyl-related health treatment. Of these, 453,391 are children.
  • Location: Rivne, Ukraine
  • Date: 04/02/2020